Alex J. Cavanaugh where totally insecure writers can get together and share the things that are making us go argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
February's question is: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?
When I saw this question in the IWSG newsletter, I couldn't help wondering if the universe was trying to give me a sign. When I was 16, I started writing a YA story about teenagers with telepathic powers. Twelve years later I dusted off the idea and wrote my very first novel. It wasn't the greatest thing ever written but I thought it was good enough to query to agents. It wasn't. After a couple of rejections, I put the manuscript aside and started working on something else.
Then, in 2013 I was struggling to come up with an idea for camp NaNoWriMo when two days before the start it hit me. I suddenly came up with an idea for a novella based on my old story idea and lo and behold it only took me eight days to complete the 30k needed to win. Since then the reworked story has spawned two additional novels and a villain origin story. I worked on the second novel during last NaNo and plan to continue writing the series until the whole thing is done before I even think about publishing.
The story as it currently stands is more nuanced in every way than the original. The voice is stronger. The characters are better. The world building is far and away the biggest difference. I know a part of it is probably that I'm slowly becoming a better writer. But there's a part of me almost thinks that I needed to take such a long break in order to see the story more clearly. It makes me wonder if writers who have already published sometimes look at their novels and wish they'd waited because they've come up with a better way to tell the story!